Candidates agree to agree
Little conflict between Hayden residents vying for spots
Hayden — The only thing missing from the candidate forum at Hayden Town Hall Thursday evening was contention.
The town canceled last week’s forum because some of the residents vying for the Hayden Town Board position were missing.
The rescheduled question-and-answer session fielded all four candidates but lacked conflict.
Andrea Hayden, Joe Schminkey and trustees Tim Frentress and Chencho Salazar are running for three spots on the Town Board.
Projects already under way, such as improvements to the town’s aging water plant and paving a few streets, topped the candidates’ lists of priorities.
“Our water-treatment plant should be developed before anything,” Salazar said.
Frentress said he hoped the plant could be completed by December.
Newcomers Hayden and Schminkey acknowledged the importance of maintaining projects already in the works but also affirmed their commitment to striking a balance between new development and preservation of the town’s quality of life.
Hayden stressed she would like to help the town expand in a conservative fashion.
“I can see Hayden grow in a very slow, cautious manner that we can all be proud of,” she said.
The Town Board must re-examine how best to entice new businesses and new development to come to Hayden, she added.
Schminkey, a business owner like Hayden, alluded to the dilemma of encouraging new families to come to town without providing them with the roads and town services necessary to sustain more houses and businesses.
The town cannot support new development without adequate infrastructure, but infrastructure cannot come without new development, he said.
“You can’t have one without the other,” Schminkey said.
Schminkey did differ from his opponents on one point.
He suggested impact fees on new development would stifle efforts to bring new people to town.
Such added costs would deter growth, he said.
“It makes it very costly to build,” he said.
Salazar said new development should pay its own way because it impacts the town’s services.
“Everyone else pays their fair share,” he said.
Frentress admitted he didn’t want to push development out of town but said he saw no way around the cost associated with supporting new development.
Although fees are necessary to cover the increasing demands on the town’s water, sewers and streets, Hayden said, they should be carefully administered.
Some developers have already agreed to work with the town to pay their own way, she added.
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